Monday, July 18, 2011

A Hurt Hen

Thursday night when I got home, I gave the birds their breadstore treats, and began watering.  Finally I sat down for a minute in the heat, and watched them.  As I sat, all of the sudden a bird screeched in pain, very loudly.  I could not figure out where it came from.  I got up and started looking along the fence, thinking that it came from the pasture.  I am no longer letting Rambo and what's left of his flock run in the pasture, as Butch and his two girls are out there. 

The noise sounded again, and I found Buffy, my Polish hen, caught in the fence behind the weeds.  She had managed to get her long toes caught in the chicken wire, fore and aft.  She was in pain, hanging there, and I thought almost dead.  When I lifted her to try to work the leg loose, she screamed again.  Finally I got her loose and put her down for a minute.

I honestly thought she was dying. 
I picked her up and took her around to the front of the big henhouse, and put her in a clean cat carrier for Keith to take care of.
30 minutes later, he went out to put her down.  When I put her in the carrier, she rolled to her side, and I thought I had gotten to her too late.  When Keith went to take care of her, she was sitting up, or trying to, in the carrier! 
He lifted her out, and we put her on the floor of the big henhouse feed room, lately vacated by Butch and his girls, as Teeny is still in the nursing cage trying to hatch her four little eggs.
Here is how she looked the next day:
She is staring longingly at Rambo.
I did let her in for one minute, but when he got on top of her she screamed in pain again, so back out she came. She lays there and watches her friends.  She is walking better, and I am so very glad we did not put her down.  Her leg and wing are hurt, though.

You can see in this picture that she is holding her wing off to one side, but we don't think it is broken.  We are watching her carefully, and hope that within a few days she will be well enough to put back in with the flock.  Rambo only has four big hens now, Libby, Birdy, Ruby and Buffy.  The little hens left in the big henhouse stick with the three little old roosters, One, Two and Three.  I am hoping praying that the juveniles start roosting in the big henhouse, now that everyone is co-existing together during the day.  It will make things easier in the winter.
When I went out this morning, I found Muffy and Bitty sitting on top of the little henhouse, and three birds came down from a tree in the big henyard, all juveniles.  They don't have any fear of predators of the night but I can't protect them from owls if they are not inside.
Keith found Butch's two girls in the yard today when he came home to water at mid-day.  Thank heavens Lilly Ann was in!


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